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Big Ten Power Rankings - Week 12

The gap between 1 and 2 is massive

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Minnesota took the L this weekend, meaning we’ll have a new number two. Doesn’t really matter, because the gap between one and two is gigantic. Let’s see how things shape up.

As a reminder, this isn’t a ranking of teams based on record, or place in the polls, but rather my assessment of how the teams are playing at the time. If two teams met on a neutral field and played 100 times, a team that wins 51 times gets ranked ahead of the team that wins 49 times.

Let’s see what we got this week, shall we?

1. Ohio State

56-21 win over Rutgers when pretty much every important player either didn’t play or took two-thirds of the game off. Makes you feel bad for whoever has to play them next! Ahahahaha help me.

2. Penn State

The Lions rebounded with a 34-27 win over a solid Indiana team, but let’s be honest with each other - no team is really going to catch #1 in these rankings this year. SOMEone has to be ranked here, and I think the Lions are the (distant) second best.

3. Michigan

A 44-10 win over Michigan State should help set up the Fightin’ Harbaughs for the Game in a few weeks.

4. Minnesota

Perhaps a bit harsh to move the Gophers down here after a 23-19 road loss at Iowa. I just really feel like Minnesota is a product of its schedule (which, yes, includes a win over Penn State). There’s time for them to climb again when they take on Wisconsin.

5. Wisconsin

The Badgers got the 37-21 win over Nebraska, and if they get past Purdue, it’ll be a winner-take-all game against Minnesota for the Big Ten West.

6. Iowa

A solid 23-19 win over Minnesota, but the teams ahead of the Hawkeyes have proven their worth, keeping Iowa at six.

7. Indiana

Make no mistake, Indiana is a really good football team this year. That being said, I felt the one-touchdown loss to Penn State had more to do with the Lions shooting themselves in the foot than the Hoosiers. But that’s what PSU does, and good opponents capitalize.

8. Illinois

Bye week.

9. Purdue

Bye week.

10. Nebraska

Is a 16-point loss at home good? Not really, but it’s a better loss than the next team on the list, so . . . .

11. Michigan State

Sure, the game was in Ann Arbor, and sure, the Spartans led after a quarter of play. But this team just does not have it anymore.

12. Maryland

Bye week.

13. Northwestern

Somehow a 45-6 win over UMass looked unimpressive. The Wildcats were held scoreless in the first quarter, for instance.

14. Rutgers

Only a 35 point loss to OSU! Not bad Rutgers!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, your updated standings!

OSU at the top, then PSU and Michigan rise while Minnesota drops. Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue are steady. Nebraska rises after a loss thanks to Michigan State losing worse. Maryland, Northwestern, and Rutger steady at the bottom.

Let’s see what week 13 brings us!